Home > Hot topics
Democratic Party of Japan
The Political History of the Consumption Tax

In June 2016, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō once again postponed the next consumption tax hike. The rate will climb from 8% to 10% in October 2019, fully four years after the originally planned date. In this article we trace the history of consumption tax policy in Japan.

Rebranding the DPJ: Old Wine in a New Bottle?

On March 27, the Democratic Party of Japan—previously the nation’s number one opposition party—merged with the smaller Japan Innovation Party in a bid to unify Japan’s badly fragmented opposition going into this summer’s House of Councillors election.

Timeline for February 2016

North Korea launches a rocket that passes over Okinawa, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is signed in New Zealand, and national census results show Japan’s population fell by almost a million between 2010 and 2015. These are the leading Japan-related stories of February 2016.

The Difficult Role of the Top Opposition PartyMachidori Satoshi

The Democratic Party of Japan, which governed from 2009 to 2012, failed in its quixotic attempt to block the government’s national security legislation by joining forces with protesters outside the Diet. The DPJ must return to a textbook approach to its role as the top opposition party if it hopes to regain power.

The Opposition Stance on Security Policy

Nagashima Akihisa, an expert on security issues from the Democratic Party of Japan, explains that while the top opposition party cannot go along with the security legislation proposed by the Abe administration, it does not totally reject the idea of exercising the right of collective self-defense.

The Way Forward for the Democratic Party of Japan under Okada KatsuyaItō Atsuo

Okada Katsuya was elected the new leader of the Democratic Party of Japan in January. He now faces the daunting task of rebuilding the DPJ as a viable alternative to the Liberal Democratic Party. This article looks at what Okada and other party leaders will need to do to accomplish that task.

Timeline for January 2015

Prime Minister Abe Shinzō visits the Middle East, mourners mark the twentieth anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and the extremist group Islamic State kills two Japanese hostages. These are the main news stories for January 2015.

Ambivalent Mandate for the Abe CabinetTakenaka Harukata

Was the ruling coalition’s landslide in the recent general election a sweeping mandate for Prime Minister Abe’s economic policies, as the government has claimed? Political scientist Takenaka Harukata suggests otherwise, arguing that voter support for the status quo rests on disillusionment with the opposition and uncertainty about the long-term success of “Abenomics.”

Lower House Election Provides Little Drama as LDP Stays in Power

The forty-seventh House of Representatives election on December 14, 2014, saw the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Kōmeitō retain their two-thirds majority in the lower house by combining to capture 326 seats, an unchanged number. The much-expected gains of the LDP failed to materialize as the party lost four seats, slipping from 295 to 291. Coalition partner Kōmeitō managed to…

What Type of Decentralization Best Suits Japan?Sasaki Nobuo

There is a consensus that Japan will need to thoroughly reform its overly centralized system of government if it hopes to reduce its massive deficits. Sasaki Nobuo, a professor at Chūō University and advocate of a new system of regional blocks, describes several paths Japan could take toward decentralization.

Video highlights

New series

  • From the editor in chief
  • From our columnists
  • In the news